Comic Vine News

68 Comments

Off My Mind: Is Spider-Man Killing His Loved Ones?

By using his spider-sense, is he messing with fate and destiny?

Gaining the proportional strength and speed of a spider may have been the greatest thing to happen to Peter Parker but we all know there comes a price to that power. I'm not just talking about the lesson power Power and Responsibility Peter learned at the cost of Uncle Ben's life but that could be part of it. 
 
One of Spider-Man's powers is his spider-sense. Somehow he gained the power to be warned of immediate danger around him. How this works could be similar to some sort of precognition abilities. By using them, is he messing with the fabric of the universe? 
 
Fabric of the universe, sounds heavy, I know. There are people who believe everything happens for a reason. Life is all about fate and destiny. What if when Spider-Man uses his spider-sense to avoid a punch or bullet, he's changing the course of what was meant to be? By changing the course of his destiny to his advantage, are those around him paying the price from Spider-Man constantly changing what was meant to be? 
 == TEASER == 
The recent Amazing Spider-Man #655 serves as a reminder of all those in Spider-Man and Peter Parker's life that have met an unfortunate end. The deaths of Gwen Stacy or Mattie Franklin are clearly a result from their association to Spider-Man. The death of other characters like Uncle Ben, Ned Leeds or even Jean DeWolf don't appear directly to be the result of direct actions against Spider-Man but maybe Fate is taking their lives just because they were part of Spider-Man's life.  
 
We've seen different  versions of the Grim Reaper in all media but it's usually the case that when it's time to go, it's time to go. If Spider-Man's been cheating death or injuries that could lead to his eventual death, the Reaper wouldn't be too happy. It could be Death's way of getting back at Spider-Man by claiming the lives of innocents around him. If this was the case, it could be argued that Death itself was changing what was fated to be but maybe it's just really pissed off at Spider-Man and is willing to break the rules to get to him. Even in Spider-Man: Reign, Death played a cruel joke on him. In this future reality, Peter and Mary Jane were still together. Mary Jane's death was because of Spider-Man. The cruel trick was she died of cancer due to the radioactivity in Peter's body and being intimate with him for so many years. 
 
Is there another hero that has had so many people close to them die for one reason or another? Spider-Man's always used his spider-senses without a thought. He may have recently lost those senses but most likely will get them back. If using this ability is risking the lives of those around him, maybe it would be best for them that he never regains the ability to use them again.
68 Comments
  • 68 results
  • 1
  • 2
Edited by radar5

good read, but to play Devil's Advocate, I would think his gaining of the spider sense must be fate as well. 

Posted by tonis

From a fabric of the universe stand point one could argue over the complexities of considering every action they take. However, unless your the tailor, you can't live with that thinking when you 'sense' things. 
 
Whether you're a spider or human and realize the gut says dangers ahead you are going to react. Which is what our friendly hero does. The consequences which have brought about tragedy around him aren't because he has this ability so much as that with action comes reaction. 
 
Some would have quieter lives if he didn't act. However cosmic math would say others wouldn't have lives without such reactions by him. 
 
A true hero couldn't spend his time playing politics with split second decisions if he carried this much weight as he traveled. He might as well put on the other suit then and go to Washington.

Posted by yeopop

The truth is that he had hurted many people.
Posted by Koolaids_Back

Holy damn the precognition thing never even crossed my mind haha. Great article

Posted by Red Rum

"On the next Off My Mind: 'Is being a superhero ultimately futile?' "

Posted by ComicMan24

But if we assume that everything happens for a reason, then we must also assume that he received that power for a reason.

Online
Posted by G-Man
@ComicMan24: Maybe that reason was wrestling.
Staff
Posted by ComicMan24
@G-Man: lol Yeah but losing this power may cost him more lives in the future.
Online
Posted by NightFang
@radar5 said:
" good read, but to play Devil's Advocate, I would think his gaining of the spider sense must be fate as well.  "
Agreed.
Online
Posted by Billy Batson

Hmmm don't really believe in fate.

Posted by Soldier zero
@ComicMan24 said:
" But if we assume that everything happens for a reason, then we must also assume that he received that power for a reason. "
My hero. Really this is ultimatly the only way to dismantle each and every argument about predestination.
 
Going back on topic, I don't think that Spidey is killing his loved ones because of his powers. If anything he's doing so because of what he is. The basic assumption of around mr. Parker is that he's a incredibly moral human being without being some sort of icon or model. On one side Peter is an average guy, with normal friends and family. On the other he's quite possibly the single most moral guy in the hero business short of Cap.
As a result Peter tend to take the weight of the world upon himself, even when this isn't necessary and the logical consequence is that he expose those around him to enormous amounts of danger, Gwen Stacy is just the most notorious example of this.
Then there are those who throw tehmselves willingly on the line of fire like George Stacy or Jean DeWolff, whose association with Spidey is usually accidental.
 
From another point of view there's the writing element, exactly because Peter is a normal guy, death is something he has to deal with sooner or later. Accidents do happen, age is unexcapable etc. So what can be more normal than mourning and dealing with the pain of the loss.
Posted by Sir Duke

While I think a Off My Mind about Spider-Man hurting his loved ones is a great topic, I think this goes the wrong way about it.  Peter's spider-sense isn't him being psychic or having knowledge of the future, it's a sense.  Same way sight, hearing, and smell are a sense.  Until just recently, Peter couldn't turn off his spider sense any more than you could shut off your ears.  Arguing that Peter changes the course of fate by using his spider sense is like arguing that you change the course of fate if you don't cross the street because you see a car speeding down the road.

Posted by Comik Book Guy

Spider's have a sort of spider sense too which is why he gained it as far as I can understand. So does that mean every time a spider uses it they are destroying the universe?

Posted by FLStyle

A strong person makes their own fate, if Spider-Man can't stop them from getting hurt then that's his own fault.

Posted by Bloodstonefreak

Interesting read, reminds me of the Final Destination films to a point.

Edited by Xx.Zac.xX

 
@ G-Man:
 
I think that in order for him to "piss off death", Spiderman has to consciously know that he's cheating death; and even at that its not like he even really is cheating death. 
 
For instance, just because he has the fore-knowledge of impending harm, seconds before it's about to happen, doesn't mean he's cheating death, or even really cheating anything. 
 
Maybe Spider-Sense might SEEM like it's precognisance, but in reality he only sees the INTENT behind the impending event. Maybe he only catches a flash of the INTENDED outcome. It's not like he actually sees the future; he just get's an irksome feeling which he has associated with "something is about to happen..."; he doesn't know WHAT is going to happen, he just knows that he should react. 
 
Spiderman doesn't see the future, or even know whats about to happen. 
 His spider-senses "tingle", and his reflexes take over from there. 
 
If anything, rather than precognisance, I'd say that Spiderman has some, vague, form of telepathy. 
 He FEELS that something is going to happen, and that someone's INTENT is behind it. 
 And even if it WAS precognisance, the whole concept of the power is so that he could PREVENT the possible damage. 
 
So, if his power is to recieve a vague sensation regarding the future, and "fate" chose him to become Spiderman, out of everyone there, then it is fated for Spiderman to have used said power to save civilians as it is already what "fate" has decided. It's not like he's playing with tarot cards. 
 
Therefore, it is the decision of "fate" for him to use spider-sense to save people; regardless of whether it is precognisance, telepathy, or just really, really good reaction time.

Posted by sparty-dbq

Soooooooo, you're saying Peter's life is like the movie Final Destination?

Posted by G-Man
@Billy Batson said:
" Hmmm don't really believe in fate. "
It was meant to be for you to say that.
Staff
Posted by Billy Batson
@G-Man said:
" @Billy Batson said:
" Hmmm don't really believe in fate. "
It was meant to be for you to say that. "

Edited by darkwolverineUSMC

That's what I like to coin as comic book logic. All heroes are always tempting fate. Captain America should have long been gone, and several times he's tempted death, only to come back time after time. All marvel heroes alter the very fabric of the universe everyday. Rachel Summers is from an alternate reality living in a alternate time-line where she was never even born. The witch altered the entire world into the House of M event. Spider-man has constantly fought against the universe. Once he actually died. But some cosmic being bring him back to life. After aunt May bit the bullet, he couldn't deal, so he made a deal with Mephisto to undo all that, which altered almost his entire time-line. Comic book logic never fails. Like dead people don't stay dead for long. In some way, shape, or form they come back. Now, to sit and way for the rise of the Human Torch from the grave.

Posted by Deadknight

 

 


 

Posted by sladewilson30

i don't think so

Posted by Xx.Zac.xX
@Sir Duke: 
 
Good point, 
but it's still outside of the normal range of HUMAN senses. 
 
While spider-senses ARE convenient, Spiderman is still powerless to alter the tides of fate. 
All they allow him to do is REACT, not PREVENT. 
 
Like you said, he has no control over his spider-sense, therefore making it one of HIS normal senses. 
 
But, it's not like he would actually know it's a car barreling down the street; just something coming at him, and he doesn't know from where; why; what; when; who, or why. 
 
It's just like when you get the feeling that someone is looking at you; except in his case somebody actually is.  
 
And as for it being a physcic power, the proof for that lies in that he can't sense Venom, Carnage, or any symbioite/power which stems from his own.; if it was precognisance Spiderman would be able to sense their impending actions, regardless of genetics, technology, or powers. 
Spider-sense can be viewed as a minute Telepathic ability because other spider-esque characters are shielded from Spiderman's spider-sense, and vice versa. 
 
So if Spiderman can only REACT, then he has absolutely ZERO influence over the flow of the future; it's just like knowing you're going to have an itch a few seconds before you decide to scratch it.

 
Posted by thesymbiote

Whoaaaaa.
 
You are thinking WAAAAAY too much into this. You are looking at this a wrong way.
 
Spider-Man's precognition has NOTHING to do with changing fabric of time. There are insects with this ability. Flies too.
 
Spider-Man's spider sense works because just as flies, he can feel very very minute changes in the vibrations of air around him. This awareness alerts him of an incoming punch, and makes him have an involuntary reaction to jump or move away. Its instinct. Flies are aware of such incoming threats because their hairs are so tiny that the slightest changes in air will alert them.
 
Thats exactly how spider-sense works in my opinion. Its not precognition to where its changing time.

Posted by Sammo21

I think it's hard to tell...we have went back and forth in the continuity with WHY he has his powers and WHAT he is supposed to do with them.  Remember when JMS was writing Amazing Spider-Man around a decade ago and Spider-Man was some sort of spiritual totem like presence.  Remember when he saw his future and he was running around with a jacket inspired Spider-Man costume which was dumped, then hinted at again, then dumped yet again?  Remember when they toyed with Spider-Man always having the powers only the spider bite brought them out?
  
Really interesting article though.  I think if we bring this up about Spider-Man, I think it would extend to most people in the MARVEL-verse though.  Heck, what about Wolverine?  

Posted by Blue Son

The problem with Spiderman I think is that he can accept that he can't help everyone around him that he doesn't know, but he can't accept that fate when it comes to people personal around him. Take his deal with Mephisto in order to save Auntie May...maybe it was truly her time, but because Parker refused to accept it and make a deal with the devil he upset the balance of what was SUPPOSE to be.  
 
Great article I do believe something is probably singling out Parker for his actions but I doubt his Spider senses has anything to do with his actions...that deal "One More Day" I believe will burn him and others around him in more ways than one.
Posted by tigerex78

Your article is an interesting take on fate.  However, I think people make their own destiny and choose their own fate.  Saying that his spider-sense is responsible for the death of others is a reach at best.  It could then be argued that someone who has trained in martial arts (can protect themselves, and avoid danger) could be tempting fate as well.  This would include a large part of the comic book world.  As has been pointed out healing factors would be an even worse offender, and then there is the invulnerable, the list goes on. 

Posted by The Impersonator

Fate is part of life. You can't change it. Whatever happens, we have to deal with it. Even for Spiderman.

Posted by Duo_forbidden

Interesting article, but I think his Spider-sense is just a precognition to help him or others stay out of danger. Now that he lost this ability, he'll have to be more cautious. 

Posted by leokearon

Wasn't there a Spidey story (I think it's Sin Eater) where Spidey is fired at, his Spider Sense goes off and he leaps out of the way but a crowd of people get shot instead
Posted by JonesDeini
@Sir Duke said:
" While I think a Off My Mind about Spider-Man hurting his loved ones is a great topic, I think this goes the wrong way about it.  Peter's spider-sense isn't him being psychic or having knowledge of the future, it's a sense.  Same way sight, hearing, and smell are a sense.  Until just recently, Peter couldn't turn off his spider sense any more than you could shut off your ears.  Arguing that Peter changes the course of fate by using his spider sense is like arguing that you change the course of fate if you don't cross the street because you see a car speeding down the road. "
Bingo. And Villains and life kill his friends/family not him...
Posted by AshleyW

I don't believe spider sense is precognitive.  
 
He isn't sensing what's going to happen in the future. Spidey is sensing what's happening at that very moment. Picking up signals that normal people would miss. 
 
Spidey doesn't dodge punches because he knows they were coming but because he notices them coming sooner. 

Posted by MOONGREY
great article. I wouldn't be surprised at all if a writer for spiderman took your idea and explored it more. in either direction. Parker coming to believe this about himself out of guilt and in the end being proven wrong.. or whatevs.. great work G-Man..
Posted by MadComics

But isn't he also proctecting his loved ones, by fighting crime? Or would that just indanger his loved ones, because there could be a possibility that they can figure out his identity.

Posted by Nefarious

This is just like what if Jason Todd's death was because of Batman....or his parents' death...because of himself...

Posted by TheShame

Probably bad luck, but spider sense may be tied into spiderman's link to the spider god on mythology.  Like a spider can feel vibrations in its web, spiderman might be sensing vibrations in the near future (from a few  minutes before hand etc).  But in most likelihood its the parker luck

Posted by SupremoMaximo

I see the spider sense as just that, a heightened sense a la Dare Devil. 
 
It's not like he can see the future and change it. 
 
This isn't "That's So Raven"

Edited by Xx.Zac.xX
@thesymbiote: 
 
Then he SHOULD be able to sense Venom,or other Spider characters, but he can't. 
I thought about the spider "hair" thing, and it would be true if he could sense Venom; so therefore a Spider's inate ability is ruled out. Maybe it's an extension of said inate ability; but his spider-sense can't just rely on hairs for that simple reason. 
 
Plus, he doesn't sit in a web all day waiting for vibrations of what sgoing to happen.
Posted by ImperiousRix

Well, whether this is the case or not, we might soon find out seeing as Spidey's just LOST his Spider-Sense. 
Wonder just how fundamentally the character will be changed by this...

Posted by stereonovapostfun

Spiderman Reign is one of the best Spiderman series ever... Just Love it...

Posted by DKing_CiCADA

I never thought of the spider sense that way 

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Spidy needs to learn that the always come back.
Edited by TheImpact

ok ok ok so those are some interesting speculations but i dont thing spider sense is precognition in my opinion its more like radar or some sensor that picks up everything bad around him and even if it was precognition it would only pick up one of the possible futures and whatever he did afterwards would than be only one of the possible outcomes from around paralel universes so it wouldnt affect fabric of the universe
 
also one question: if spidey lost his spider sense than if/when he gets it back will he be able to sense venom? i ask because it would essentialy be new spider sense right?

Posted by Meteorite

Spider-Man lost his spider-sense?

Posted by MatPaget

This is a really great article!
You're going places kid! Wait a second, you already work for a prestigious website? 
YOU'RE FIRED!!!

Posted by Soldier zero
@Xx.Zac.xX said:
"  @ G-Man: I think that in order for him to "piss off death", Spiderman has to consciously know that he's cheating death; and even at that its not like he even really is cheating death.  For instance, just because he has the fore-knowledge of impending harm, seconds before it's about to happen, doesn't mean he's cheating death, or even really cheating anything.  Maybe Spider-Sense might SEEM like it's precognisance, but in reality he only sees the INTENT behind the impending event. Maybe he only catches a flash of the INTENDED outcome. It's not like he actually sees the future; he just get's an irksome feeling which he has associated with "something is about to happen..."; he doesn't know WHAT is going to happen, he just knows that he should react.  Spiderman doesn't see the future, or even know whats about to happen.  His spider-senses "tingle", and his reflexes take over from there.  If anything, rather than precognisance, I'd say that Spiderman has some, vague, form of telepathy.  He FEELS that something is going to happen, and that someone's INTENT is behind it.  And even if it WAS precognisance, the whole concept of the power is so that he could PREVENT the possible damage.  So, if his power is to recieve a vague sensation regarding the future, and "fate" chose him to become Spiderman, out of everyone there, then it is fated for Spiderman to have used said power to save civilians as it is already what "fate" has decided. It's not like he's playing with tarot cards.  Therefore, it is the decision of "fate" for him to use spider-sense to save people; regardless of whether it is precognisance, telepathy, or just really, really good reaction time. "
Not in MU apparently, at the end of Thanos: Infinity Abyss it was revealed that the death and resurrection of Simon Williams (probably the first superhero death in the Marvel Universe) unbalanced the scales of life and death allowing the constant return of superhumans from beyond the grave. Pretty much Simon created the conditions to allow any superhuman in the MU to cheat death involuntarily. Sad... especially since the same mini that introduced this idea was supposed to fix it.
Edited by Xx.Zac.xX
@Soldier zero:  
 That makes complete sense, but, in the case of spider-sense, he is doing absolutely nothing to alter the course of fate. All it is, is a quick warning, followed by excellent reaction time; him cheating death, and spider-sense are two completely different things. Wouldn't you agree? 
Spider-sense is basically just an adrenaline rush, with a twist. If you were about to get into a car crash, everything around you would seem to slow down due to the adrenaline, thus making you react quicker than normal; and thats pretty much all that happens with spider-senses, except that he becomes aware that something is about to happen. 
 
But, you are right; technically, he is continuously cheating death, but it has nothing to do with spider-senses.
Posted by Kesho_Ronin

 I always thought that spider-man was one of the best  comic book character ever (next to Batman,Superman,Wolverine). people can read the comic and related to it, because behind the costum he is just a  ordinary guy  like you and me whit real life problems.He is not rich, bullets don't bounce of him,and he is a dork :)  but like many heroes,with their line of work comes much sacrifice.
whether if it's love,their health,social life etc.Just like hercules,great hero with tragic story.I guess every  hero must have his tragedy. But through tragedy they still stand above it, and do what is necessary to save the day.

Posted by Soldier zero
@Xx.Zac.xX: 
I agree 100%, I just wanted to point out that some people might think differently. As you said of the Spider-sense is a way of cheating death, the combat reflexes of people like Cap or Punisher are too, just from a different source.
Overall all this thread reminds me of some elements of "The Other", meaning if the spider was trying to gave Peter powers all along and radiotion were just an accident, or the other way around.
 
Going a bit out of the MU I have to quote a certain mr. John Marcone on the argument: "What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?"
Posted by tobiasPUNK

nobody should believe in fate because it's bull$h!t.

  • 68 results
  • 1
  • 2